Target group

Define exactly who you want to address and whether this target group is large enough or willing to pay enough to support your business idea.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are your customers?
  • What are their characteristics (age, income, occupation, purchasing behaviour, interests, place of residence, etc.)?
  • What does my ideal typical customer look like?
  • Where can I meet as many of these customers as possible?
  • For example, are there shops, events or internet forums where my target group is particularly frequently present?
  • How many potential customers have I met and where?

Customer acquisition is a lengthy process. You should continue it even if your business is doing well, so that it does not flounder in leaner times.

Depending on the industry you will have to do more or less customised customer acquisition. A consulting or construction company, for example, tailors virtually every individual project individually, while a retailer can rely in part on customers arriving anonymously with standardised specifications.

Tip: The more customised your customer acquisition needs to be, the more you and your team have to work on specific skills.

Successful sales people generally distinguish themselves through their good knowledge of human nature and the ability to communicate. These “front jobs” are not for shy desk jockeys, even if one can develop the necessary qualities to a certain extent.

Many entrepreneurs underestimate or mentally block out the high importance of customer acquisition for their company. This is partly due to the great emotional effort involved, such as overcoming one's own insecurity or the fear of unpleasant rejection. Furthermore, the reluctance is also a result of the high preliminary costs, which are mainly due to the time required.

Often, this leads to last-minute knee-jerk decisions, when it is no longer possible to ignore the lack of orders. The risk of setbacks is then great and can quickly lead to frustration and even failure.

Tip: Customer acquisition always has a lead time (sometimes 6–12 months) and must therefore be carried out continuously and parallel to day-to-day business.

Example

My customers are mainly working singles or childless couples aged 25–45, academics or people with university entrance qualifications. Their minimum income is EUR 1,500 net and they work 40 or more hours a week. An expansion of the target group to include working parents and senior citizens is planned at a later stage.